Pilots’ union Balpa has reissued calls for the government to issue a moratorium on job cuts in the aviation industry after Jet2 became the latest airline to announce proposed cuts.
Balpa said Jet2 had informed it of a proposed 102 pilot redundancies as part of cost-cutting measures which are reported to also include 380 redundancies among cabin crew.
Brian Strutton, Balpa general secretary, said, “This is yet more evidence, if it were needed, of the freefall in aviation, and the knee-jerk way airlines are responding, especially as lockdown is gradually being eased.
“Many of the pilots whose jobs are on the line in Jet2 have just recently moved there after having lost their jobs at Thomas Cook – these pilots have been through the mill already.
“Despite being one of our least union-friendly airlines, I hope Jet2 negotiates in good faith and works with us on how we can mitigate these proposed losses and see Jet2 thrive in the future.”
He added: “As difficult as our relationship with Jet2 undoubtedly is, the airline plays an extremely important role, especially at airports in the north, and we want it to succeed.
“Once again, I reiterate my call for the government to step in, call for a job cuts moratorium, and work on a strategic support package to help this industry get through this crisis.”
The Scottish Sun reported that the proposed measures could still be subject to change as the impact of the pandemic continued to develop.
A Jet2 spokesperson said: “The implications related to the coronavirus crisis have been complicated, with changes on an almost daily basis. Additionally, we are still faced with uncertainty in relation to lockdown and its continued challenges.
“As a result, we have had to reassess and reduce our flying programme for the remainder of 2020 and for 2021. Sadly, the overall effect of these reductions has been the need to propose a number of colleague redundancies across our business.
“We cannot say how much we regret these proposed redundancies and we will be consulting with appropriate representatives of the affected colleagues in order to ensure that all options and issues are fully considered.
“Whilst we have every confidence that we will bounce back from the unprecedented demands currently placed on the company, we sadly do have to make difficult decisions in the current climate. We very much look forward to growth returning to Jet2.com and Jet2holidays and are confident that there will be sunnier times across the industry in the not too distant future.”
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